The Embryonic Field: Touching the Origins of Form

Saturday, March 27, 2021, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Session Description 

 Human embryology reveals the evolving process of formation. This workshop presentation provides an experiential window into the embryological flows shaping us. These primal forces are the supporting ingredient underlying health and vibrancy.By embodying these formative movements, this understanding will integrate into your therapeutic practice and sense of personal presence.Cultivating a sense of embryological embodiment, touches and deepens contact with our integral wholeness and the origin of being.“The basis for all body form is embryology. Through the study of embryology we learn how the adult form/function develops. Embryology doesn't stop at birth ...”(adapted from Feitis/Schultz)

This presentation will explore the underlying flows of formation. Participants will 'move' into these flows, and cultivate an in-bodied understanding of how to work with the flow of the 'lemniscate'. I was first introduced to this movement in 1981 in a Rolfing class with Emmet Hutchins. He spoke of the 'lemniscate' as the 'two-way operator' through the tissues. I have continued to engage this movement in my structural and movement work ... deepening it to include the embryological roots.

Participants will gain an understanding of the flows of formation which move through the body. This understanding will encourage a perceptual shift in their awareness to include the field surrounding the body. They will experience the "two-way operator" of the lemniscate through the tissue.



Carol Agneessens
The Rolf Insitute

Carol Ann Agneessens, MS. has been a practitioner of Rolfing and Movement Integration for 38 years. She has been serving on the faculty of the Rolf Institute since 1993. 

She is the author of the book, The Fabric of Wholeness, (2001).

With a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin: Madison, Carol focuses on developing ‘Kinesthetic Intelligence’ within each student. Kinesthetic Intelligence underlies the cultivation of a listening and dimensional touch which ignites the sensory experience of whole-body awareness.

Carol’s study of Embryology began with an introduction to the ‘lemniscate’ in her basic Rolfing training with Emmett Hutchins in 1981. The lemniscate (imagine a lazy figure 8) seeded a curiosity that grew into an inquiry of the movement underlying formation.

As her interest became a dedicated study, Embryology became a portal to sensing the lemniscate-like flows moving through the surrounding fluid fields of development. These tidal movements shape and sustain the growth of the embryo. This understanding grows out of the new science of epigenetics; meaning the environment or field in which the embryo grows and in which we live have determining factors in growth and health through a lifetime.

As the embryo develops from periphery to center, the in-forming field interacts with the genetics. The field is the organizing matrix or blueprint of formation. This understanding is key in touching the implicit wholeness, multi-dimensionality of the body, and the mystery of the life force flowing through nature, through the embryo and ourselves. 

Carol teaches an Embryological Orientation to Cranial Sacral Therapy, and workshops in The Embryonic Gestures of Formation that include practical applications to Structural Integration.

Carol resides in Aptos CA where she maintains a private practice as well as teaching internationally.  (



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